Defending False Verification of Ownership Cases
Florida Statutes 538.04
Record keeping requirements; penalties.--
(1) A secondhand dealer shall complete a secondhand dealers transaction form at the time of the actual transaction. A secondhand dealer shall maintain a copy of a completed transaction form on the registered premises for at least 1 year after the date of the transaction. However, the secondhand dealer shall maintain a copy of the transaction form for not less than 3 years. Unless other arrangements are agreed upon by the secondhand dealer and the appropriate law enforcement official, the secondhand dealer shall, within 24 hours after acquiring any secondhand goods, deliver to such official a record of the transaction on a form approved by the Department of Law Enforcement. Such record shall contain:
(b) A complete and accurate description of the goods acquired, including the following information, if applicable:
1. Brand name.
2. Model number.
3. Manufacturer’s serial number.
5. Color, as apparent to the untrained eye.
6. Precious metal type, weight, and content if known.
7. Gemstone description, including the number of stones, if applicable.
8. In the case of firearms, the type of action, caliber or gauge, number of barrels, barrel length, and finish.
9. Any other unique identifying marks, numbers, or letters.
(c) Digital photographs of the goods, clearly showing the items required to be included on the record as provided in paragraph (b).
(d) A description of the person from whom the goods were acquired, including:
1. Full name, current residential address, workplace, and home and work phone numbers.
2. Height, weight, date of birth, race, gender, hair color, eye color, and any other identifying marks.
3. The right thumbprint, free of smudges and smears, of the person from whom the goods were acquired.
(e) Any other information required by the form approved by the Department of Law Enforcement.
(2) The secondhand dealer shall require verification of the identification by the exhibition of a government-issued photographic identification card such as a driver license or military identification card. The record shall contain the type of identification exhibited, the issuing agency, and the number thereon.
(3) The seller shall sign a statement verifying that the seller is the rightful owner of the goods or is entitled to sell, consign, or trade the goods.
(4) Any person who knowingly gives false verification of ownership or who gives a false or altered identification, and who receives money from a secondhand dealer for goods sold, consigned, or traded commits:
(a) If the value of the money received is less than $300, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) If the value of the money received is $300 or more, a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(5) Secondhand dealers are exempt from the provisions of this section for all transactions involving secondhand sports equipment except secondhand sports equipment that is permanently labeled with a serial number.
(6) If the appropriate law enforcement official supplies a secondhand dealer with appropriate software and the secondhand dealer has computer capability, the secondhand dealer must electronically transmit secondhand dealer transactions required by this section to such official. If a secondhand dealer does not have computer capability, the appropriate law enforcement official may provide the secondhand dealer with a computer and all equipment necessary to electronically transmit secondhand dealer transactions. The appropriate law enforcement official shall retain ownership of the computer, unless otherwise agreed upon, and the secondhand dealer shall maintain the computer in good working order, except for ordinary wear. A secondhand dealer who transmits secondhand dealer transactions electronically is not required to also deliver the original or paper copies of the secondhand transaction forms to the appropriate law enforcement official. However, such official may, for purposes of a criminal investigation, request the secondhand dealer to deliver the original transaction form that was electronically transmitted. The secondhand dealer shall deliver the form to the appropriate law enforcement official within 24 hours after receipt of the request.
(7) If the original transaction form is lost or destroyed by the appropriate law enforcement official, a copy may be used by the secondhand dealer as evidence in court. When an electronic image of a customer’s identification is accepted for a transaction, the secondhand dealer must maintain the electronic image in order to meet the recordkeeping requirements applicable to the original transaction form. If a criminal investigation occurs, the secondhand dealer shall, upon request, provide a clear and legible copy of the image to the appropriate law enforcement official.
(8) When secondhand goods are purchased by means of an automated kiosk, the serial number reported pursuant to this section may be the International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI), the mobile equipment identifier (MEID), or another unique identifying number assigned to the device by the manufacturer. If the IMEI, MEID, or other unique identifying number is not available at the time of receipt or purchase, the report filed pursuant to this section must be updated with the IMEI, MEID, or other unique identifying number as soon as possible, but no later than 10 business days after the date of acquisition. If such identifying numbers are not available at the time of the transaction, the business shall assign another unique identifier to the item which directly associates the item to the transaction that it was purchased in. Upon entering or updating any information on the transaction form, a law enforcement official, as designated by the sheriff or the chief of police of the jurisdiction in which the item was purchased, must be timely notified in writing or by electronic means, as required by the sheriff or chief of police of the jurisdiction. If, upon receiving the device and correcting the missing information, the company finds that the item was misappropriated or stolen, the appropriate law enforcement official must be notified. The holding requirements of ss. 538.06 and 538.09(3) do not begin until all required reports are complete and submitted to the appropriate law enforcement official.
Hiring a skilled and respected criminal defense lawyer is necessary to obtain the just and proper result for your case. Wayne Richter is experienced in handling false verification of ownership charges in Florida and will aggressively represent you, and fight to protect you, in and out of the courtroom. Get an initial consultation when you call our office today.